Most helpful positive review
126 of 131 people found the following review helpful
Solid choice for lightweight boot
on April 7, 2013
Hey Everybody. Want to give my thoughts on the Vasque GTX 2.0 hiking boot.
I'm a big Vasque fan and own a pair of their backpacking boots which after putting around 400 miles on them over some tough terrain, I have to say they are the best that I've ever owned. But, it's time to replace and was hoping for something a little lighter, thus the 2.0 GTXs come into play.
Size: I almost always wear a size 11, probably at least 90% of the time, but maybe I'm a tweener. I started off ordering an 11 and my toes bumped horribly even with crew socks. So, unless you're sure that you run on the small side of a size, try to find a place to try them on first. I had them replaced with a 11.5 and they fit better. It seemed that the width was a little narrow, but after a couple weekend hikes, they have either broken in or I've quit noticing.
Arc Tempo: The Arc Tempo kind of tilts your foot forward giving you a little momentum into your next step. Ok, I like it, but I also wonder if that could have been the reason for the toe bumping in the size 11s. Since my foot is tilted forward it would naturally want to slide to the end. That's just speculation on my part. Regardless, I like the idea of assisting me with each step.
Comfort: Well, I've only worn them on 2 hikes, one 18 miler and one 26 miler. They seem reasonable comfortable and broke in quickly. I had a couple of minor annoyances on the first hike around the collar, but since I didn't notice them on the second hike, I attribute that to the break-in. A little more padding would be nice, but no worse than any other booth that I tried out. Maybe a pair of insoles will fix that.
Waterproof?: There's the question. I'll have to go with mostly. Got caught in a couple of showers on the first hike, stayed dry as expected. On the second hike, there were many water crossings where rock hopping was a must. When water was no higher than the sole, completely dry. When water was slightly higher than the sole but lower than the top of the foot, still dry. But, once the water covered the entire foot, and I'm not talking about the collar around the ankle, I took in a some water. I don't know why. They're gore-tex, so again speculating, I wonder if some water got in through the seam where they sew the gore-tex to fit the boot. Eventually, I hit water that was above the boot and naturally they were wet from then on, since you can't waterproof that situation Anyway, I think you're fine in rain or low level water, be careful covering the entire foot.
Cool & Light?: I'd say yes. They did accomplish the goal of moving to a noticeably lighter weight boot. They do fine on the airflow part also. Normally, on long hikes I swap my between two pairs of wool socks around every three hours. I wear one while the other hangs on my backpack since dry socks will reduce your blisters greatly. This seem like I can go longer between swapping. I hope the trend holds up in warmer weather.
Durability: So far they seem fine. The sole is thick enough to where I haven't felt rocks even with a backpack and they haven't shown any wear and neither has the rest of the boot, but it's still early. I have a 3 week hike coming up on the AT here shortly. If I have any problems there, I'll update my review.
Overall: The Breeze 2.0 GTXs are comfortable, even with a backpack weighing around 30 lbs. I like the way the sole slightly tilts you forward into your next step. The grip seems fine and I haven't noticed any slipping on rocks or damp surfaces - although I can tell that the grip is not quite as aggressive as the Vasque backpacking boot. I'm slightly disappointed on the waterproofing and sizing. So, although not completely blown away by the Breeze, I do recommend them as a safe and solid choice.
Just finished a little over a two hundred miles on the A.T.
The good: I must have kicked a hundred rocks and never felt more than a bump on the toes. No visible sign of wear. There were some complaints on the previous version of this boot about the glue not holding, but all is good for me so hopefully that was corrected with this updated offering. Caught in a few days of rain and with rain pants covering the collar, I was able to keep dry feet. No blisters until day 18, and they were minor. That may or may not be the case for you since everybody's fit is probably a little different. Since most fellow hikers got blisters sooner, I felt fortunate.
The not so good: They are a bit narrow and even though I went up a half size, I still banged my toes on the downhills. I think I could have gone up a full size since I use thicker wool socks. If you don't have the opportunity to try them on first, I'd suggest going up at least a half size. A little more info about the traction. On steep, rocky, wet descents all was fine if I planted my foot before shifting all of my weight onto it. They did as good as most out there, in fact, probably better than most. But I still missed my old Vasque boots which had the wider toe box and were more forgiving because of the more aggressive tread similar to the current Vasque Bitterroot or Summit. But those will cost you a few more dollars and an extra pound of weight.
I'll stay with my 4 star rating and recommendation as a solid, safe choice. Again, try them on first if you can. Hope this helps and good luck out there.